Note on this publication of The Panmure Papers

The source for this on-line version of The Panmure Papers is the two-volume edition published by Hodder & Stoughton in 1908. The editors of that publication, Sir George Douglas and Sir George Dalhousie Ramsay, had access to the originals of the letters. The published work contained those letters as transcribed and edited by them, together with their account of Lord Panmure’s earlier career, their chapter summaries, their marginal headings, and their footnotes. These are all reproduced in this on-line version, with nothing added and nothing taken away.

Marginal headings are here rendered as side headings. This has necessitated splitting some paragraphs. In some cases the original marginal headings were not appropriately aligned, and I have taken the liberty of relocating them to a more relevant position.

Page footnotes in the original are here reproduced as chapter endnotes. To mitigate the inconvenience of this, the references are made into links which will jump to the end of the chapter.

Where the original manuscript letters contained underlined words, the Hodder & Stoughton publication printed them in italics. H.M. Queen Victoria and Vice-Admiral Houston Stewart were particularly free with emphasis, and underlining would, I feel, have conveyed the character of their letters better, but not having access to the originals myself, I have not felt at liberty to correct this. I have marked up such words as “emphasised,” and most browsers will probably render them in italics still. This is particularly unfortunate as at least one letter actually refers to words being underscored. (This sentence shows how your browser renders emphasised words.)

Douglas and Ramsay censored some of the letters which made adverse comments on individuals. For example, on 20 July 1855, they have Panmure writing to Simpson, “I have also seen M’Neill, who gives a poor account of ——.” It seems unlikely that the original suppressed the name. Again, a few days later, in a letter dated 5 July, they omit a part of a letter from Panmure to Simpson, replacing it with, “[Here follow some questions as to the qualifications of General Sir Richard England for succeeding to the chief command. Sir Richard’s conduct in the first Afghan war had been adversely criticised, but Panmure had never given ear to his detractors.]” Again, not having access to the originals, I have perforce reproduced the censored version.

The printed publication was not meticulous in distinguishing between the text of the quoted letters and editorial interjections. Where there is no doubt, I have rendered editorial matter as such, but where there is ambiguity I have left it as source text. In particular, many of the letters contain ellipses, thus:   .  .  .  Most if not all of these probably indicate editorial cuts, but it is conceivable that some of them were part of the original letter, and I have left all of them as such.